Flashing warning lights compulsory in Germany, what you should know

If you are active as a transporter or bodybuilder, you have probably heard it already. Flashing hazard lights will become mandatory on trailers in Germany. In Germany, the government wants long trucks (LZVs) to be equipped with a system that checks whether drivers can safely turn in their direction. In this way they expect fewer accidents to happen. The name for this system is the so-called 'turn-around-assist'. In direct German: 'Abbiege-assistent'. The 'turn assistance' rules apply to 'long heavy goods vehicles', also known as 'LZVs'. Transporters have until July 2022 to have such a system installed on their truck and trailer. The flashing hazard lights are part of this device. In order to better alert road users to the direction that a long truck is taking, it is mandatory that the orange marker lights The direction indicators will flash along with the signal. This, of course, is in the direction of the desired turn.

What is a rotation assistant?

Turning assistants should be able to significantly reduce the number of accidents. Pedestrians and cyclists are threatened daily by turning lorries. Terrible accidents happen all too often. The reason for this is the well-known blind spot or blind spot. This is the area next to the vehicle that cannot be seen despite the wing mirrors. Additional sensors can therefore help you to 'see' the blind spot.

How does a turning aid system work?

So 'turn-off assistants' warn you if you are a truck or bus driver turning off and pedestrians or cyclists are in danger next to you. By using extra sensors, for example: cameras, ultrasonic, radar or infrared sensors, the blind spot is made as small as possible. Whether your visibility in this blind spot is better, it depends on how you look at it! The point is that the driver is better able to detect objects in the blind spot. The turn-off assistant is automatically activated when you use the direction indicator. Another moment when the assistant is activated is when you drive slower. In this way, you can better keep an eye on what is happening in these blind spots. Truck drivers are warned visually and acoustically about obstacles or fellow road users in the blind spot.

truck assistant

When is my vehicle an LZV?

Longer, heavier combination vehicles (LZVs) are also called 'Ecocombi's'. These are trucks that can and may transport more load than a normal truck combination. An LZV has a maximum length of 25.25 metres and a weight of 60 tonnes. This while a regular truck is up to 18.75 metres long and can weigh up to 50 tonnes (in the Netherlands). Because fuel consumption hardly increases, transporting goods by LZV can save 40% to 30% on fuel. Which we consider to be quite a lot. There are seven possible variants of LZV (see image). The F and G variants are quite rare. So for the vehicles A to G, flashing lights are mandatory.

Lange zware vrachtwagen soorten LZV

Will the Netherlands adopt these rules? Or is something already known about this?

In the Netherlands, there is no question of also introducing such a system on long truck/trailer combinations. However, this turning aid is permitted. You see this application in the Netherlands quite rarely and these rules do not (yet) apply to Dutch hauliers who drive a LZV vehicle in Germany. In Germany, you may simply drive a Dutch truck without flashing side markings. This is because EU legislation is central to European roads. Germany should therefore not refuse an LZV from another EU member state. A safer choice, of course, is to have it flashing! Pretty stylish too, if we do say so ourselves.

Would it be cool to have the side of your trailer flashing dynamically?

In our case, we will check with the RDW whether this is a possibility. It would be a really unique addition. Think of the Dynamic indicator strip
mounted in multiples on the side of your truck and trailer.

When will these rules be used Europe-wide?

Based on the turning aid rules from 2019, the European Commission proposes that turning aids should be compulsory after 2022 on new types of vehicles and for all new trucks and buses produced after 2024.

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